Defenders of China first Emperor Qin Shihuangdi
Final Weeks! Exhibition ends 8/26
The Terracotta Army was discovered on 29 March 1974 to the east of Xi’an in Shaanxi province by a group of farmers when they were digging a water well. For centuries, there were occasional reports of pieces of terracotta figures and fragments of the Qin necropolis but this discovery prompted Chinese archaeologists to investigate, and they found the largest pottery figurine group of the world.
Qin Shi Huangdi’s necropolis complex was constructed as a microcopy of his imperial palace: offices, halls, stables and other structures placed around the tomb mound of him which is surrounded by two strong earth walls with gateway entrances and thousands of soldiers.
According to historian Sima Qian (145–90 BC), the works on this mausoleum began in 246 BC and involved 700,000 workers. He also said that there were 100 rivers simulated with flowing mercury, and above them the ceiling was decorated with heavenly bodies below which were the features of the land but he didn’t mention the Terracota army.
The tomb of the emperor remains still unopened because only a portion of the site is currently excavated and to open the sealed tomb presents great difficulties.
It seems than the terracotta soldiers were manufactured by local craftsmen with local materials. The head, legs, arms and torsos were made separately and then assembled. Once assembled, facial expressions were added, painted with bright pigments and afterwards the piece was fired. The craftsmen signed the figures.
Definitely, a fantastic exhibition!